How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Affect a Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on April 11, 2024 in Prenuptial Agreements

Kane County, IL prenuptial agreement lawyerCouples who decide to get married are often encouraged to sign a prenuptial agreement. This agreement outlines what will happen to property belonging to each party and the couple as a whole in the event of death or divorce. It becomes effective upon marriage.

Although signing a prenuptial agreement can be helpful in many scenarios, it is legally complex and should be drafted by an attorney who is experienced in family law. 

If the couple decides to divorce, a prenuptial agreement often becomes a major factor in the divorce proceedings. This article will discuss the benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement, what the agreement includes, and how it can impact a divorce.

Why Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?

There are several reasons why you might want to sign a prenuptial agreement:

  • To shield your spouse from being saddled with your debt

  • To ensure the marriage is not financially motivated, especially if one spouse has a much higher net worth than the other

  • To protect any inheritance belonging to your children from a previous marriage

  • To make sure your spouse is financially cared for if you pass away

  • To prevent a mutually-owned business from being divided in the event of divorce

What is Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement should detail what happens to assets each spouse acquired before marriage, as well as property acquired by the spouses during the marriage. According to Illinois law, the agreement can include:

  • Which assets are considered marital property and which are non-marital property

  • The rights and responsibilities of each party regarding the properties

  • How assets will be divided upon death or divorce

  • Parameters for spousal support, also known as alimony

  • Ownership of life insurance

How Will a Prenuptial Agreement Affect a Divorce?

Divorces are often known to be emotionally taxing, legally complex, and messy. One of the main reasons divorce proceedings become so complicated is because the parties heavily dispute the distribution of assets. The couple may be ordered to attend mediation, where a court-appointed mediator will try to help the parties reach a compromise.

In some cases, particularly if there are complex assets and questions of fact involved, the case can proceed to litigation. This can be very financially and emotionally draining for both sides. 

Prenuptial agreements simplify the divorce process, however, because courts usually accept them as binding. If an agreement has been structured correctly, it will already have resolved many of the disputes that often come up throughout a divorce. This can lead to a divorce being cheaper, quicker, and perhaps less painful.

If a couple gets married without signing a prenuptial agreement, they can still hire a qualified attorney to draft a postnuptial agreement which can also greatly simplify divorce proceedings.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Kane County, IL Family Lawyer

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements require careful attention to detail and a broad knowledge of the complex legal issues involved. Planning for death or divorce can also be a solemn experience, so it is best to seek out an experienced and compassionate St. Charles, Illinois family law attorney. Call the Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 for a free consultation today.

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